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A Keck Adaptive Optics Survey of a Representative Sample of Gravitationally-Lensed Star-Forming Galaxies: High Spatial Resolution Studies of Kinematics and Metallicity Gradients

Leethochawalit, Nicha and Jones, Tucker A. and Ellis, Richard S. and Stark, Daniel P. and Richard, Johan and Zitrin, Adi and Auger, Matthew (2016) A Keck Adaptive Optics Survey of a Representative Sample of Gravitationally-Lensed Star-Forming Galaxies: High Spatial Resolution Studies of Kinematics and Metallicity Gradients. Astrophysical Journal, 820 (2). Art. No. 84. ISSN 0004-637X.

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We discuss spatially resolved emission line spectroscopy secured for a total sample of 15 gravitationally lensed star-forming galaxies at a mean redshift of z≃2 based on Keck laser-assisted adaptive optics observations undertaken with the recently improved OSIRIS integral field unit (IFU) spectrograph. By exploiting gravitationally lensed sources drawn primarily from the CASSOWARY survey, we sample these sub-L^* galaxies with source-plane resolutions of a few hundred parsecs ensuring well-sampled 2D velocity data and resolved variations in the gas-phase metallicity. Such high spatial resolution data offer a critical check on the structural properties of larger samples derived with coarser sampling using multiple-IFU instruments. We demonstrate how kinematic complexities essential to understanding the maturity of an early star-forming galaxy can often only be revealed with better sampled data. Although we include four sources from our earlier work, the present study provides a more representative sample unbiased with respect to emission line strength. Contrary to earlier suggestions, our data indicate a more diverse range of kinematic and metal gradient behavior inconsistent with a simple picture of well-ordered rotation developing concurrently with established steep metal gradients in all but merging systems. Comparing our observations with the predictions of hydrodynamical simulations suggests that gas and metals have been mixed by outflows or other strong feedback processes, flattening the metal gradients in early star-forming galaxies.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Leethochawalit, Nicha0000-0003-4570-3159
Jones, Tucker A.0000-0001-5860-3419
Ellis, Richard S.0000-0001-7782-7071
Richard, Johan0000-0001-5492-1049
Zitrin, Adi0000-0002-0350-4488
Additional Information:© 2016 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2015 September 8; accepted 2016 January 28; published 2016 March 22. The authors recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Mauna Kea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain. We acknowledge useful discussions with Chuck Steidel, Phil Hopkins, Xiangcheng Ma, Drew Newman, and Paul Torrey, and thank Paul Torrey for his Illustris metal gradient predictions tailored to the context of our observations. Support for A.Z. was provided by NASA through Hubble Fellowship grant #HST-HF2-51334.001-A awarded by STScI. T.A.J. acknowledges support from NASA through Hubble Fellowship grant HST-HF2-51359.001-A awarded by the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., for NASA, under contract NAS 5-26555.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Hubble FellowshipHST-HF2-51334.001-A
NASA Hubble FellowshipHST-HF2-51359.001-A
NASANAS 5-26555
Subject Keywords:galaxies: abundances, galaxies: evolution, galaxies: high-redshift
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20151215-121959156
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Nicha Leethochawalit et al 2016 ApJ 820 84
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:62947
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:15 Dec 2015 21:11
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 09:23

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